Review: Bahlasti – Haunted Home (self-released, Jul 12)

Haunted Home is a concise but dense display of do-it-yourself rough electronics sound design, manifesting across the three bite-sized tracks in the form of simmering static, broken rhythms, and howling abrasions. “Spectre” introduces the infectious structural character of the release right off the bat with its restless volatility; it finds shaky footing on a half-materialized obstacle course of needle-drop punctures, rumbling bass transmissions, and metallic-tube air drones, all the while threatening a coalescence into something more cohesive that never quite occurs—I’m oddly reminded of “There and Back” and its sister track on Lambkin and Lescalleet’s The Breadwinner. The false hints at coherence continue with “The Messenger,” which introduces punchy beat fragments that sound like a hard-hitting EBM track put through the “deconstructed club” blender. With the way it seethes and surges it could be the score to some bleak cinematic post-apocalyptic romp, or perhaps an extra-dramatic walk through an industrial city at night. “Enemies Known & Unknown,” the side-long closer (the whole release would fit comfortably on a C14), is a sort of deconstructed power electronics affair, a shifting mass of strangled bellows and distant noise that succeeds as both an aggressive assault and an atmospheric meditation. Haunted Home certainly won’t feel like “home”—at least, I hope it won’t—but everything in moderation, right?

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